Monthly Archives: December 2007

The Product of A Christmas Cookie Sugar Buzz

I have turned into a sweatpants-wearing, green-and-red-cookie-eating, The Santa Claus-watching, couch-potatoing, christmas-vacationing (with Chevy Chase), cheap-champagne-binge-drinking, ugly-sweater-party-attending, none-yogaing-or-running lazy SoB this month. And I blame every last chocolate truffle on the season of joy and snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes. So once again I have all kinds of stuff that I see and want to write about but have no motivation to tear myself away from my two new lovers; DVR and Tila Tequila’s Shot at Love.

1. Just because babies are the new Uggs and your name is Spears does not mean you can be 16, knocked up, and proud. You are not Katherine Heigl.

2. I realized that with finicky consumer desires media has to reach into their bag of tricks and treats to keep an overstimulated society interested. Webisodes, podcast exclusives, and Super-sized primetime dramas that’s running time are longer than a psych course lecture on ADHD (also amazing that most Americans don’t have the brain calm to sit through a 2 hour college lecture yet can plant themselves in front of the TV for 2 hours of McDoctors-are-never-that-hot-in-real-life-trust-me-I’ve-looked.) But I think MTV may have taken that cutting-edge-think-outside-the-TV-box EXCLUSIVE CANNOT MISS EVEN IF YOUR DOG HAS SHIT ON THE COATS a little too far. Last week I was mentally prepared for the finale of The Hills. Would the Spidi wedding fall in a disaster of immaturity and blonde hair? Would Brody and LC stop beating around the bush already? (If for no other reason than so I can stop throwing Famous Amos cookies at the TV) Would Lauren have a chance to go to Paris after her first pass on the visit to be with Jason? (Lowest point in me and LCs fictional relationship…) All the hype during the show and (totally unnecessary) red carpet preshow talked about some BIG announcement Lauren was going to announce during the (also unnecessary) post show. Excellent! She was finally going to admit to brainwashing America into big headbands and tights. So of course I had to tune in (addiction is a disease people, I know.) The big announcement? That this wasn’t REALLY the finale…………………………………All the hype, all the hair, all the glitter, all the leggings, all the viewers ($$$$$) and that was just another episode. There are no words. As excited as I am that I get to follow Lauren and Whitney to Paris and see Heidi come crawling back to Lauren for forgiveness post-Spencer breakup, I am peeved that MTV used us at our most vulnerable (no Hills for 6 months) to wrangle in a few million viewers for NOTHING. Crazy. Yet the business side of me can’t help but be totally impressed…

3. All I want for Christmas is an apartment hallway that doesnt smell like my grandmas house wallpapered in air fresheners.

4. Nothing can put me in the holiday spirit more than Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing “Count my blessings” God I just melted a little inside just watching that clip

5. Ok MABYBE white christmas is tied with a made-for-TV Christmas special from 1987 that my parents taped on Beta for me and I have watched every year since. The Muppet Family Christmas. Last year my dad found some guy that hasnt left his electronics store since it opened in 1970 that had a Beta-DVD converter. He burned this for me so I can continue watching it in my little apartment without having to haul the beta player all the way across the midwest just to discover that they no longer make the kind of cables needed to hook it up to anything besides a Zenith B&W; 12″ tube.

5. On the El last night I was sitting across from a Christmas pie of a little girl bundled up like Randy Parker (“I can’t put my arms down!”). She was singing to herself. “Dradle, dradle, dradle, I made it out of clay, Dradle, dradle, dradle, and with it I will play!” Next moment she’s singing “Santa Claus is coming to town” Merry happy Christmas Holidays.

It means no worries, for the rest of your days!

Every person has that one school subject that they continue to have nightmares about. For some it is Math (obviously not me considering my career choices so far…), for others it is English (Sentence diagramming, anyone?), for me it is science. The only science class I could ever force myself not to doodle my way through was chemistry and that was only because it was mostly math-related chemical equations. So bare with me now as I attempt to write an educated essay on biology.

I’m working hard to open myself up to more educational entertainment outside the realm of Johnny Depps new movie and where I can get a cheap massage (New School for Massage). Since I moved into my new apartment and no longer have to live like a caveman without cable or Internet, I watch more Discovery channel (this is mostly due to Doc’s aggressive claim to the remote most nights to watch Survivorman) and check out the National Geographic’s website (amazing photography). In this month’s Vanity Fair (lots of awesome articles in December’s issue as you can tell by now) I decided to try reading an article about some bamboo plant that plagues an area of India every 50 years (“Waiting for the Plague” by Alex Shoumatoff). When after 15 min my attention had not yet been seduced by the glossy ads for Bottega Venetta and Prada, I knew I was going to have to share this event with you. So lets take a moment to acknowledge the fact that Jen actually has some substance to her beyond her desire to live in a high-rise loft downtown and becoming a close and personal friend of Ashley Olsen…….Thank you. Now back to the bamboo (PS – did you know Big Boi from Outkast named his kid Bamboo? Reason #12,634,757 Outkast is wicked cool)

So there is a region in India called Mizoram where their main material for sustaining their lifestyle is the bamboo that grows in droves in the area. Once ever 48-50 years the bamboo flowers and grows fruit, after the fruit is picked the bamboo dies and regrows over the next few years. But the people of the area are plagued by rats during the time that the bamboo flowers, as the rats feed on the fruit. The people call this plague “mautam”. This puts the people in a battle for food, and consequently life, with rats. It also spawns the population of the rats. This is because normally adult rats eat their young. Sounds traumatic but it’s for survival due to the lack of what it is rats usually eat in the area. This keeps the rat population low and under control. But when the bamboo flowers and produces the fruit, the rats no longer have to have a feast of babies, but of fruit. This leaves the people of Mizoram in a state of desperation, with the bamboo dead and the rats attacking the fruit, they have no food to survive the following years until the new bamboo grows again. The people of Mizoram are in constant contest with the rats. Even when the bamboo is dormant (not producing the fruit), they spend most of their time learning about rats and planning for the next war to rage. Adding to this amazing and unbelievable account of what really happens in the world outside the urban jungle, in the real jungle, is the fact that the area Mizoram is one of the most secluded and hardest to reach corners of the world. They are a group far from the domestication and westernization of most of the world. I’m not exaggerating when I say their lives are sustained on bamboo. The author lists tables, barrels, houses, toys, all created from bamboo. They use the edible part (unscientific and I don’t have the article in front of me right now. Deal with it.) for the main portion of their diets. I feel like there is hope that the modernization and destruction of the environment will not overwhelm the whole planet when I hear about places like this that still survive without all the hoo haa of developed countries and Tyra Banks. The article notes that this circle of destruction that the bamboo goes through is probably to be reborn anew, to start over, start fresh. That maybe the whole planet will be ready to brush off all the oil and gas we create someday and destroy itself to start anew. Circle of Life. Hakuna Matata.

Its far fetched I know, to say the world is going to just dissolve into dust, giving a big “ef you” to humans. But I promise the article said it much more articulately, much more realistically, much more frightening. Like I finished the article and had a sudden need to go to the botanical gardens and give them a “Thanks for everything!” card

…..I should probably make Doc do a fact check on this entry before I make a foul out of myself with this Green Love protest…..

Footnotes

Ok I have 10,000 things I want to write about but don’t know how to start or end them (like any good tortured writer) so I’m just going to jot down what I’ve got, simply to share what I learn each week with you. I have these little nuggets of info that I absorb throughout the week, reading magazines, websites, newspapers, and I hate having all these fun facts about the world and not sharing them with people. Whether they are intellectual, gossipy, meaningful, helpful, or just something to make you laugh, I go crazy if I can’t tell you about it. So instead of trying to piece together an essay of nonsensical catch phrases (like that one) I’m just gunna list. So now I give you: Lessons learned this week, during the first snow fall of the year……

1. Uggs have no traction. Regardless of the style status of the boots, I still believe in the functionality of them. But mine have been wore so many times in the last 6 winters that I might as well have just wrapped my feet in saran wrap and lather some butter on them before stepping out into the Chicago ice storm.

2. CTA buses have no traction.

3. Because my same roommates that couldn’t afford the internet also couldn’t afford cable TV, I didn’t think the writers strike would affect me at all. (Don’t think it hasn’t affected me emotionally, knowing that I have missed half a season of Top Model with Heather and having to watch the Office over a testy streaming video connection is blackening my soul.) But I was having a hard time swallowing the halting season finale of Weeds and have a hunch the Writers Guild of America may be to blame (huge SPOILER ALERT for the show’s ending). The season finale ends with Nancy’s Mexican Muscle torching the rival growers crop, subsequently developing into a wild fire, destroying the entire suburb. Nancy then decides to move her family across the country to start anew. Let me rephrase that for people that don’t know the show. The writers dropped every plot twist and character formation in the last 20 min of the finale. They got rid of the main story line by setting the city on fire. They made the main characters run away from any problems or relationships that were forming. Literally run away. To Pittsburg. There were lose ends all over the place. It seemed like a huge cop out. So as I struggled to dissect the meaning of it all, it dawned on me. The writers had to get something down on paper before they grabbed their sign and joined the picket line. For god sake, give the people what they want so more of my shows don’t commit network suicide like Weeds did!

4. The 22 Clark bus is more entertaining than an episode of True Life: I have Tourettes. The guy next to me, with his 21-year-old beard, fedora, and trench coat, was finger painting on the steamy window. Apparently my inner freak was dying to know what master piece this prodigy was creating that we were all fortunate enough to be in the presence of, because before I could process my motor skills, I asked this dude what he was drawing. A sheep shaking hands with a monk. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. After he got off, I continued to stare at the window, trying to decipher the thought process that went into this kids drawing, when I was pulled away by some loud dude ranting about drama drama drama. But as I listened (along with 90% of the bus) and he’s dropping terms like “She was afraid he was going to murder her personal footprint on the world” or “the bond they shared was insatiable, it was destroying them as they failed to quench each others needs.” and something about a Roman emperor that gained the thrown by tricking everyone around him to kill themselves and playing dumb to the power over the empire and that “Ben” uses that technique to gain their friendship and they can’t let him take over them. The real life Dawson Leery is standing behind me.

God I just reread my “list” and realize I cannot escape the adjectives that attack everything I write. so much for a quick and to the point list of fun facts…..